Thursday, December 29, 2016

Remember the Night Via Hangover

Remember the Night is a Barbara Stanwyck/Fred MacMurray movie. MacMurray's a prosecutor, Stanwyck a shoplifter. After her attorney tries to argue she was hypnotized by the department store staff (during his closing argument?), MacMurray argues the state will need to bring in an expert - after Christmas, of course. But he feels bad about her staying in jail over the holidays and pays her bail. She's from not too far from his hometown, so he offers to take her home on his way home. The frigid welcome convinces him to take her home with him, budding romance ensues.

Stanwyck and MacMurray have solid chemistry, arguing back and forth. Each of them scores some direct hits against the other, but there's enough humor in it that it doesn't feel hateful. The trip out has the feel of a couple of people keeping each others' spirits up, which I enjoyed. MacMurray's character seems a bit guileless to be as good of an attorney as we're told he is. And you'd think a guy who grew up on a farm would have enough sense to not sleep in his car which just crashed through someone's fence, then milk the guy's cow the next morning.

But then the trip is over and they return to New York to continue the trial. Stanwyck is down on herself enough that she fears she'll ruin his life, and the judge is convinced something is up. So MacMurray tries to throw the trial by turning the jury against him, really obviously, and she ultimately pleads guilty to short-circuit the whole thing.

Then there's this whole tearful conversation in the elevator as she's being led out of the courthouse. Which it seems ends with the two making an affirmation of their love, but she's still going to jail. Probably. MacMurray said she can't appeal because she plead guilty which, is that true? I figure her attorney could at least argue that MacMurray used the glare of the lights off his Brylcreamed head to hypnotize her into pleading guilty. Oh, and the judge certainly will still have his suspicions, and he'd convinced the District Attorney to listen from the shadows and I don't know what he made of it all.

As far as Christmas movies go, you could do worse. It's good for some laughs.

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